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Espresso Brownies

I had an out-of-office project meeting with a client for my new job, and on the way my boss asked me if I had ever considered opening a bakery. (I use my co-workers as taste-testers for the blog, maybe this is an abuse of people I know, but to date no one has complained about the continual stream of baked goodies in the office). ┬áIt’s not my fault that I have an hour and a half commute each way to work during which I read food magazines and think about flavor combinations that I want to try. Or that I read cookbooks cover to cover the way some people read novels.

This question came hot on the heels of these brownies. My sister’s best-friend tried to steal the pan after I gave her one to try (she also made me promise to make these for her birthday). Blondie decided we could finally seriously talk about getting hitched some day.

Gluten-free espresso brownies with mocha frosting


These particular brownies came about because I quite like coffee. I started drinking it when I was really young. My mom would drink coffee room temperature long after she had poured her morning cup. I would steal little sips when she wasn’t looking. When coffee shops became all the rage in the mid-90s, I would beg to go and get mochas and vanilla cappuccinos. Something about the bitter taste of coffee has always appealed to me, and once I found out that it tasted even better when you added chocolate to it, I was hooked for life.

I now take any excuse I can to sneak it into baked goods and these brownies have a double dose of espresso – in the brownie itself and in the frosting.

Gluten-Free Espresso Brownies
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Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 12
These are excellent with or without the frosting
Ingredients
  • For the brownies
  • 310 grams (11 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 230 grams (8 ounces/ 2 sticks) butter, chopped in 1 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 grams (2 tablespoons) cocoa powder
  • 300 grams (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
  • 110 grams (1/2 cup) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 150 grams (1 1/4 cups) gluten-free all-purpose flour like Cup4Cup*
  • For the frosting
  • 115 grams (4 oz/ half a package) cream cheese
  • 115 grams (4oz/ 1 stick) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 175 grams (1 1/2 cups) powdered sugar, sifted(you can add more to make the frosting stiffer if you want)
Instructions
For the brownies
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium pot over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate and salt.
  3. Once melted, remove the pot from the stove and stir in the cocoa powder and sugars.
  4. Add the eggs in 2 groups, stirring to incorporate. As soon as the eggs are mixed in, add the flour in 2 groups.
  5. Be careful not to over-mix the batter. You want to incorporate as little air as possible into the batter or else you will end up with a brownie that is less chewy and more cake like.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. They are better a little under done than to be over cooked.
For the frosting
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, condensed milk and vanilla bean paste.
  2. Once smooth, add the espresso and cocoa powder.
  3. Add the powdered sugar 1/3 at a time, stopping when the consistency is what you want. The frosting is thinner than most butter creams.
  4. Frost the brownies and let the frosting set for an hour to make cutting easier.
Notes

I use Cup4Cup flour or Jules’ Nearly Normal Flour when I use all-purpose flour. If you want to make your own bend, use 10 grams ground flax meal, 40 grams sorghum flour, 20 grams brown rice flour, 20 grams white rice flour, 30 grams tapioca starch, 30 grams sweet white rice flour

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